Enugu monarch, youth leader debunk report on mass arrests

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Igwe Dume Nnamoko, the traditional ruler of Obodo-Uvuru Autonomous Community in Akpawkfu, Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, on Sunday, denied social media reports of the mass arrests of his subjects by security operatives.

Social media platforms on July 23 carried an unattributed story of soldiers numbering more than 40 invading Akpawfu and other communities and arresting some people.

The social media platforms alleged that the arrests were meant to track suspects who killed two policemen at two checkpoints within Amagunze community and Obeagu-Amechi in Enugu South Local Government Area.

Igwe Nnamoko told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that at no time did he or his subjects set eyes on any soldier or persons in military uniforms in his community or the neighbouring communities.

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He said the mentioning of his Akpawfu community in the publications was the “imagination of the writer’’.

“No such thing happened in the section of the community I administer or even the entire community. Something of such magnitude will not happen with me or my subjects not being aware.

“Till now, nobody has been arrested in my community. We hear people saying that they hear or read in the internet that there soldiers invaded Akpawfu. It is not true,” he said.

In the same vein, Mr Ephraim Okowa, Youth Leader in Akpugo community, said that he made a series of contacts to know about the alleged massive arrest but found out nothing of such happened.

Okowa, whose community Akpugo shares boundary with Akpawfu and Amagunze communities, said that he had made a series of calls but had not identified any single youth arrested in his community or neighbouring ones.

“In my curiosity to understand what is happening, I called the Divisional Police Officer for Nkanu East LGA who told me in confidence that there was no mass arrests after the unfortunate checkpoints incidents,’’ he said.

In a related development, the Nigerian Army has urged the public to disregard a `doctored video’ meant to denigrate the professional conduct of troops in the South-East, posted since Friday, July 23.

A statement by Army Spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Saturday, July 24, said the attention of the Nigerian Army had been drawn to a video footage released by some individuals on Youtube to denigrate troops.

He said that the video featured blurred images of some persons dressed in green camouflage destroying a farmland in an undisclosed location within the South-East, probably Akpawfu community.

According to him, in an attempt to denigrate the reputation and image of the Nigerian Army, authors of the video mischievously attributed the action of the people to the military.

The army spokesman said this was done “by falsely claiming they were soldiers and invariably personnel of the Nigerian Army.’’

“However, following a fact-finding investigation of the video by subjecting it to credible reverse image, it was discovered that the video was first published on YouTube channel “BIAFRA BOY”.

“The investigation also revealed that the image of the men in green camouflage was deliberately blurred to conceal their identity from viewers.

“Similarly, the authors failed to identify the location, community, or local government area the incident occurred. Given these facts, it is apparent that the video footage is a deliberate propaganda by Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“We, therefore, urge the public to please discountenance the propaganda video as it is the machination of mischief makers targeting the Nigerian military,’’ he said.

Nwachukwu reassured the public that the Nigerian Army would continue to operate professionally regardless of all divisive propaganda. (NAN)

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